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Aster Medcity Performs Youngest Respiratory ECMO Treatment for Premature Newborn

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Kochi, 05th January, 2024: Aster Medcity has marked a significant moment by successfully administering Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) treatment to a one-and-a-half-month-old premature baby. The infant, Aishath Afreen Arif, hailing from the Maldives, was born at 28 weeks and faced life-threatening respiratory distress and pneumonia.

The baby girl had been on mechanical ventilation for 10 days due to a respiratory viral infection that led to a secondary infection. Despite receiving multiple antibiotics, her lungs were severely damaged, and she struggled to maintain normal oxygen and carbon dioxide levels on a conventional ventilator.  She was airlifted from when the situation worsened.

Upon arrival at Aster Medcity , the medical team immediately recognized the severity of the case. The pediatric team at Aster Medcity took swift action, deploying advanced medical interventions, including high-frequency ventilation techniques. However, these efforts proved insufficient, leaving the medical experts with no choice but to turn to ECMO for heart and lung support.

Initiated on November 1, 2023, the ECMO treatment lasted for 14 days, during which the child exhibited remarkable progress. After successful decannulation, she continued her recovery on a ventilator for an additional 16 days before gradually transitioning to High-Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC). The child remained stable throughout the process and was discharged from Aster Medcity in a stable condition. 

“From the moment Aishath was transported by the ICU ambulance from the Airport to the completion of her treatments, the doctors and staff at Aster Medcity  were exceptionally kind and careful.” The decision to bring their baby to Aster hospital was, according to the parents, Mohamed Arif, a Finance Manager, and Luha Ahmed, a Freelance writer and Baker, the best choice they could have made for Aishath’s treatment. 

The collective expertise of different departments including Anaesthesiology & Critical Care led by Senior Consultant, Dr. Suresh G Nair, successfully tackled this highly challenging case.

“This was an unprecedented and challenging situation. Aishath Afreen Arif’s preterm status and the critical condition of her lungs posed unique obstacles. However, our dedicated team of experts, including the Paediatric Cardiac Surgeons, Intensivists, Perfusionists, and  Anaesthetists  worked tirelessly to provide the best possible care, said Dr. Sajan Koshy, Senior Consultant – Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, Aster Medcity, Kochi.

The successful ECMO treatment for this premature newborn signifies a significant leap forward in pediatric critical care, not only for Aster Medcity but for the medical community in Kerala.

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